March 19, 2019

New Study Shows Home Health More Effective than Hospital Stay for Many Patients

The home health community sees the positive impacts that high-quality, skilled home health services provide to patients every day.

Now, a new study published in The American Journal of Accountable Care confirms what we’ve experienced firsthand: home healthcare is a tremendously beneficial alternative to hospitalization for millions of Medicare beneficiaries across the country.

By examining patients admitted to the emergency room with a serious illness (congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, or cellulitis), researchers compared outcomes between those Medicare beneficiaries who were admitted to the hospital following their visit to the ER and those who instead received home healthcare.

The results showed the group of patients who were treated in a home-based setting were significantly less likely to be admitted or readmitted to the hospital. Similarly, the home health group had fewer visits to the emergency room as a whole than the patients who were immediately admitted to the hospital.

Not only is home healthcare more effective at improving patient outcomes, it is also a cost-effective alternative to hospitalization, saving both Medicare and taxpayers money. In computing total 90-day costs, the researchers found the average costs for the home healthcare group were significantly lower than the inpatient cohort ($13,012 vs $20,325).

In other words, research suggests home healthcare is a win-win for patients and Medicare.

With so many benefits, it is no wonder that the vast majority of seniors prefer to be treated in the comfort of their own homes!

The complete study, “Improved Cost and Utilization Among Medicare Beneficiaries Dispositioned From the ED to Receive Home Health Care Compared With Inpatient Hospitalization,” can be read online here.